We had a great visit with our friends, S and T, last night. We sat around a bonfire in our garden and chatted about all sorts of things from movies, the Olympics, diets, stuff and more stuff. One of the things that came up briefly was my 40 Challenge (as it has become known as). We got to talking about #25 – Catch 40 Crab.
Here’s the thing- I don’t think this one is going to work out. I just can’t make it work, mainly b/c we need a boat – or someone with a boat. I also need someone to teach me the ins and outs of crabbing. The season is short and quickly approaching its end, and I’m coming to terms that it most likely isn’t going to happen.
But that is OK – and that’s what S and I were discussing. In fact, she complimented me on the fact that it was a good thing that I’m not so hung up on the event or the numbers of each of the challenges.
I’m currently reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. This book is a year-long account of how Rubin wanted to find ways to be happy. She wasn’t unhappy and she had a great life and she admits that. In fact, many reviews I’ve read of her book talk about how spoiled she is, great life, great career, great family, and so on…”yet, she’s not happy.” I don’t agree with these sentiments.
Rubin goes through the year and tries one thing a month to help her become more of aware of herself and her quest to be happy. She does things like cleans her closet to reduce clutter, starts a collection, makes three new friends and other things too. ( I personally wish she did a little more things that were charitable, but hey- it’s her story, not mine.) She admits not all the things she is doing are easy and some are out of comfort zone, but some of the things she is trying are working – and she feels happier.
I think it is important to realize that she wasn’t unhappy – but her journey is more about finding ways to be more aware of her surroundings, to appreciate the things she has.
I can totally relate to Rubin’s plight, and this is why I did my challenge. I am not unhappy in my life, I have a very good life. I admit it and I try to treasure it everyday. But at times, I do feel I was/am caught up in the everyday ho-hum of stuff – cleaning, fixing lunches, getting out the door, going to work, coming home to do it all over again – – and I don’t want to miss any opportunity to really live. I want to challenge myself to live life to its fullest, to live up to my potential.
And you know what – – I’ve learned somethings about myself because of this challenge.
So far I’ve….
- read more books, watched more movies, gone to church more than I have in years combined.
- tried a few new foods and a few new recipes that I wouldn’t have normally even considered. (Buddha’s hand – in the past, I probably wouldn’t even had noticed it in the produce department.)
- run more than I have in years – – I mean, I’ve run 35K!!!! (five – 5K’s so far).
- noticed more sunrises and sunsets…like this morning, as I’m writing this, the sun has been rising, I’ve watch the outside get brighter.
- learned that star chart (of sorts) really keeps me on track with my progress and I like seeing the squares on my list get filled in…I feel accomplished.
- committed to doing some sort of challenge in the future – maybe not 40 things of 40 things – – but some sort of something to keep me on my toes.
I think originally, I was hoping that this Challenge was going to provide me with the Meaning of Life. And maybe in a sense it has reminded me that the meaning of life isn’t about one monumental AH-HA moment, but all the little moments in between. Not one thing on this list is going to change my life in one instant and give me all the answers. I’m realistic enough to admit that there’s nothing really that earth shattering about planting 40 pumpkins….but b/c of this list – – I do feel I’m living more; I’m having more fun, I am more aware of my surroundings, my family, the choices I make. I’m trying more….
That’s all, enough with all the deep, soul searching stuff – – – – back to The List.
Today- we’re taking (my award-winning, I might add) ribs to a new friend’s house. My husband, T, asked that I make some to share with his co-worker as part of his daughter’s first birthday celebration. I’m counting that as an Act of Kindness. I think I’ll wear a dress too!